NEPAL- CDC Group, UK’s development finance institution, has in October this year, announced its investment in WorldLink, the largest private sector internet service provider in Nepal.
The investment will help fund WorldLink’s ambitious expansion throughout Nepal, reaching further remote territories and connecting hundreds of thousands of households and small enterprises to the internet.
Dileep Agrawal, Managing Director, WorldLink said: “We feel honoured to be the first CDC equity investment in Nepal.
“With CDC’s backing, our ambition is to transform Worldlink into a world-class company that will serve as a model and inspiration to other companies in Nepal,” added Agrawal.
CDC’s capital will accelerate its expansion, helping WorldLink to provide even more small businesses and families with a reliable internet source.
This advanced connectivity will help stimulate the growth of businesses and the local economy as they open commercial communications on a global platform.
On his part, CDC’s Managing Director and Head of Asia Srini Nagarajan, said “We firmly believe in the power of connectivity to help bring communities out of poverty.”
Nagarajan also noted that, “Advancing the internet to MSMEs across Nepal gives people access to global trade and market and also brings families into contact in Nepal and overseas.”
Part of CDC funds will also be used by WorldLink which is already a large employerwith nearly 3000 employees to hire an additional 1,000 employees.
CDC will also help develop a skills and training programme for all staff and progress health and safety standards.
WorldLink has grown over the past 24 years into Nepal’s largest internet service provider, laying over 8000km of fibre and reaching some of the country’s most remote places such as Chhatrakot Rural Municipality and Ruru Rural Municipality.
It is also participating in a government subsidy scheme to extend internet services to Karnali, the most mountainous and underdeveloped province in Nepal.
This is CDC’s second investment in Nepal this year and the CDC MD said that “We are delighted to be creating long term partnerships in a country where our capital will make a meaningful difference to people’s lives.”
Earlier this year, CDC provided a US$15 million, three-year loan to NMB Bank, one of the country’s leading commercial banks.
Compared to other countries in Asia, access to digital services remains low in Nepal and presents a real challenge for most of the country’s communities and the development of businesses.
CDC’s investment in WorldLink will thus contribute in addressing this problem and by extension have a positive impact on Nepal’s economy.